Chandigarh : The Confederation of Indian Industry, as a part of CII Agro Tech 2012, today organised an International Conference on ‘Grain Storage and Warehousing’ at the CII North Headquarters. The session Chairman and moderator was Mr Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Collateral Management Services Limited, while the Keynote Speaker was Mr Dinesh Rai, Chairperson, Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority. The panelists included Mr. Anil Arora, Managing Drector, MJ Logistics Services Lmited, Mr Felipee Gonzalez Chiappe, Vice President Operations and Production, Latam Agro, Argentina, Mr Srihari Lath, Director Star Agri Warehousing, Mr Suneet Gupta, Director Rabo Equity Advisors and Mr Vineet Maheshwari, Director, Panama Agri Tech Limited
Mr Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Collateral Management Services Limited pointed out that “Grain storage and warehousing plays a crucial role in promoting agriculture marketing, rural banking, financing and ensuring food security in the country. About 80 per cent of the handling and warehousing facilities are not mechanized and traditional manual methods for loading unloading and handling of foodgrains and other commodities are used. Production of grain is far more than the storage houses in India, and the storage houses lack scientific technology due to which 50 thousand million tonne grain is wasted every year. There is an urgent need to overcome this problem,” he added.
In his keynote address, Mr Dinesh Rai, Chairperson, Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority highlighted “warehousing logistics and cold chain are the important areas which need improvement to help the farmers. He also pointed out some constraints in building warehouses including escalating land prices. Then.,there are licensing issues and export and import policies are not very suitable. But if GST would be introduced many of these difficulties would be resolved and then private sector can come in a big way for the construction of the ware houses. He was also in support of PPP as it would attract investment in agriculture sector.
Mr Anil Arora Managing Director, MJ Logistics Services Ltd., opined that the cost of labour was going up and even their availability was becoming difficult. While the government was in favour of giving benefits to farmers, it would also be necessary to mechanise agriculture to the maximum possible to mitigate this problem.
Mr Felipee Gonzalez Chiappe, Vice President, Operation and Production, Latam Agro Argentina said, Argentina is as big as India and we are facing the same problem as India is facing but silo bags solved our problems to greater extent. Argentina was the first place to introduce Silo bags.
Mr Vineet Maheshwari, Director, Panama Agri Tech Ltd said that, “Silo bags have been successfully utilised in India and first introduced in Maharashtra for storage of 10,000 tons of Soyabean in November, 2011 and then in Madhya Pradesh. The cost of storage is low and the grain can be safely left in the bags for upto 2 years .”
Mr Suneet Gupta, Director Rabo Equity Advisors said, “Investors in Warehousing face so many challenges like theft, poor quality of power, security. Banks are not ready to give loans for the schemes. Investments running into millions of rupees would be need to upgrade the warehousing in the country, “ he added.